Marc Bartram was born, on probation, in May 1832, September 1913 and eventually April 1956. For the first five years of his life he was kept in a coffee jar in the shed but after the intervention of Social Services was put in his own shoe box in the cupboard under the stairs.
He was educated by being prodded with a sharp stick initially at St Wilfred's infant school (Now University of Hessle Road) before moving on to Bricknell Avenue Junior school. He ended up at Kelvin Hall school for the criminally challenged which he left with the footprint of his headmaster clearly visible on the seat of his pants.
He then chose a career path to confuse the local constabulary from Local Government Officer, Psychiatric Nurse, Trawler hand, Toilet Cleaner, Warehouseman, Student, Printers Assistant, Factory Factotum, Busker, Chef, Shop Assistant, Smug Druggler and International Man of Mystery. He escaped from a life of highly paid drudgery in the car industry by constructing a tunnel whilst ostensibly working on the soundproofing for a Leyland DAF.
After such a chequered career there were very few options left open to him, there were opportunities in the Liberal Democratic party or master of hounds on the newly relaunched Basil Brush Show but eventually the whiff of the barmaids apron lured him to a life of sleazery.Taking a red spotted handkerchief he travelled to London and spent a year at the University of North London studying towards an Institute of brewing diploma. From there he became an itinerant brewer working for the Firkin chain as well as a variety of breweries and brew pubs around the country before settling for a job at 'The Hampshire Brewery'.
Moving to East Anglia to set up a brewery for a man who had the ambition but insufficient funds he found himself marooned, a colour that Ann, a wife type person, felt suited him. After a time in the food industry developing ready meals for supermarket chains he was approached by Roger Abrahams of Buffys Brewery who offered him Buffys old five barrel plant. Roger had run away from home when he was eight and was Captain Pugwash's original cabin boy. After a long history in the brewing industry Roger was known to the police in seven counties.
The brewery was set up in an industrial unit in the village of Thurston, initially to produce sufficient beer for soirees with intimates discussing the relative merits of the guitar playing of Frank Zappa, John Fahey and Jimmy Page, the surplus was sold on to the free trade where it was greeted with open oesophagi. After three years, demand was increasing and it was decided that the Thurston unit was too small to cope with this increased demand. Marc was approached by a local farmer who wanted to set up the brewery in his barn but unfortunately whilst a farmer might like a brewery in his back garden, a farmer's wife knows this could lead to a life of unsurpassed hedonism and so was let down.
Again Roger from Buffys played the role of fairy godmother, (a fetching little outfit it was too), and for 2 years Bartrams Beers were brewed on Buffy's own plant at Tivetshall St. Mary. For the past few years Bartrams Beers had proved popular at the events on the Rougham Airfield as well as at the Blackthorpe Barn and so the Brothers Agnew offered our hero the use of the old parachute packing building on the Rougham Airfield, and it was here in August 2005 Marc lay his hat, coat and jockstrap.
The brewery was officially opened on the 12th April 2006 to coincide with Marc's 50th birthday. A delegation from Letchworth turned up to present an award and join in the celebrations, much music was played and beer consumed and a good time was had by all. Marc currently lives in a tree house somewhere in Suffolk with his wife of many years standing, a couple of years sitting and six months lounging. There is a son, Luke, who shall remain nameless, a couple of bullying Burmese cats and a moggie called Jess. There is also a daughter, Amy, who terrifies the residents of Stowmarket by pointing at trees and reciting Lithuanian poetry.
With his love of local art and artists, Marc has employed the services of several individuals to put together his interesting range of pump clips and bottle labels, skirting legal issues, public decency and copyright laws. As soon as the local council grant a licence for the premises on the Rougham Airfield then it is Marc's intention to open an off licence stocking beers from his chums in the East Anglian Brewers Cooperative, as well as beers from breweries around the country with whom Marc regularly partakes. In time it is hoped to extend this range to include some of the finer examples of the brewers art from Europe and, who knows, even beyond ... Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster anyone? Watch this space...